I was 23. Since graduating college, I had lived (and worked) in San Diego, Boston, San Diego again, and then the Bay Area. Of course, the path was all about a boy. We met. He lived in San Diego but first had to finish up his senior year at Harvard (thus Boston) and then go on to law school at UC-Berkeley (thus the Bay Area).
I was incredulous.
I was 23 for crying out loud! Why did I have to settle down? What the hell? I was only 23.
* * *
There is a magnet school of the arts school within a larger high school in our county. A few weeks ago, I suggested to Eldest that he consider trying to get into the creative writing discipline. His writing is magnificent. Everything he turns into his GATE program English teachers is met with A++ grades and oozing praise. It seems like a slam dunk for him to do it.
There's a portfolio to prepare. There's an application to submit. There's an interview to do. And there was a shadow day yesterday. He followed a high school student in the program around all day, while I spent more than three hours touring the different arts classrooms, hearing from the teachers, listening to the administrators and being totally awed with everything that they do.
That slam dunk? That was in my eyes. Not his.
He is a fabulous writer but it's not something he is passionate about. It is "just" something at which he excels.
When the day was done, he was left really excited about attending high school. And he was left feeling so saddened that he doesn't know what he's going to do with his life.
He is only 14.
* * *
Damn it. We're not supposed to know what we're going to do with our lives at 14 and still in middle school. Nor at 23 and so recently out of college. We're supposed to be open to anything at those ages. And our mothers should know that better than anyone.